New Live Video! We Play for You.

April 18th, 2014

Hey folks!

Ryan and I are pledging to give you music for your earholes and eyeholes once a week, every week until the forces of nature make me a liar.   But even that will only be temporary(maybe).  Hopefully, with practice, these videos will become more and more solid and start to include some of our talented and generous friends.  Maybe even YOU can help out!  If you want(pleeeease!).

Here be the first installment!  It’s one of my favorite songs to perform.  Please, enjoy and share to your hearts delight!

Our next live performance will be at Harbin Hot Springs on May 24th. Come up to enjoy the pools during the day.  In the evening, we will perform your faces off!

ALSO! The next Emily Zisman album, Weeds & Wildflowers is headed to the presses!  We are sooooo close.

Until then, enjoy the videos!

Sociopathy at Pebble Beach

April 12th, 2014

Back here, on the beach

where we fed chicken bones to the seagulls.


Where we made love and set fires and

got stoned among the dunes.


Fished hermit crabs out of

seawater and fed them to the anemone.


We were teenagers.

We were assholes.


but we were free.


Emily and Ryan join Marty Atkinson for a Bazaar Jam!

February 19th, 2014

Mark your calendars for Friday,  March 21st!  We are excited to be sharing some original tunes at the famous Bazaar Café on California Street in San Francisco.

5927 California St, San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 831-5620


Check out the digs and the eats:


In a rare, acoustic appearance, Ryan and I will be trading off half hour sets with the insanely talented Mr. Marty Atkinson.


He’ll be joining us, we’ll be joining him….We will aim to jam your face off.   OFF!!

You can tell us whether or not we succeeded at the end of the show.


Show starts at 7:30pm but make sure to get there early as it’s a fairly small room with limited seating.  We will sing you songs until about 9:30pm, so plan to tuck in!

There will be some new songs, some old songs and a pant-load of excitement building around the upcoming release of the second Emily Zisman album.

Come!  See us!  We miss you so.

It Will Be Dark (A Metamorphosis)

October 23rd, 2013


These words that stick out

little mysteries


They lodge

In my craw and bite



Curious clues at first



  I sit with them


Until they majestically unfurl themselves ornate

Opaque passages.


Too terrible to avoid

Too insistent to ignore


And treacherous to traverse

But traversable they are. 


However sheer and impassable they feel.



It will be dark.

Upcoming Gigs!

October 15th, 2013

A bevvy of exciting performances on the horizon!  Hope to see you at any or all of them.


Saturday, October 19th

Emily Zisman Acoustic Solo

Wine Pickup Party for Velo Vino

Cindy Pawlcyn’s Wood Grill & Wine Bar

641 Main St. St. Helena CA



Saturday, November 2nd

Americano Social Club FAMILY RUCKUS!

Club Deluxe

1511 Haight St, San Francisco


$5 cover


Thursday, Novermber 7th

Special Appearance with Grand Avenue Soul

The Starry Plough

3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley


$7-12 sliding Scale

21+ only


Friday, November 8th

Americano Social Club FAMILY RUCKUS!

Café Revolution




Saturday, November 16th

Chance’s End

Fillmore Poster Room


With purchased of a ticket to see the Fillmore act: Beats Antique



Mark your calendars and come on out!
Love to you.


9/11 non-song

September 11th, 2013

I didn’t feel as close to the fire as I actually was. 

So I never realized how burnt I had become.

I was removed by a polarizing lack of loss.  Suddenly a tourist in my own city as it crumbled around me.  After it had been built before me.  Without me.

This ire wasn’t mine.


I still don’t notice the char until I’m reminded by the date. 

The month and day have acquired a mute reverence

More hollowed than the monotonous mark of the passing of time. 

I never felt the heat of rage.  But I did sink.

There was a terrible fall. There was damage.

There is now a thick layer of scar I cannot penetrate for excavation. 


I tried to write about it.  I tried to sing about it. 

But I felt impertinent waxing poetic about a fire I didn’t feel. 

Songwriting wasn’t the way in. It may never open for me that way. 

I am waiting for the sting. 

 still waiting to feel the glow. The heat. Anything other than sheer weight. 


Just to be able to write an honest word.


September Gigs!

August 20th, 2013

Heya Folks!

It has been an eventful month.  I’ve returned from a two-week jaunt in Ireland after falling head over heels in love with it.  It’s one of the more vibrant and engaging places I’ve been in a long time.  The incomparable Ryan Avery joined me for the first half of the journey and even sat in on some traditional music sessions in a few of the local pubs.  Needless to say, he fit right in.   I even managed to finagle my way into one performer’s blues session.   


I know. 

I’m incorrigible.


In any case I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of things!

Here’s the lineup for September:


Saturday, Sept 7th

The Americano Social Club FAMILY RUCKUS!

Club Deluxe

1511 Haight St (between Clayton St & Ashbury St) San Francisco, CA 94117


$5 door charge

*Special Note!  I will not be at the Club Deluxe Ruckus in October due to a travel conflict.  Come out to this one in order to stave off the withdrawals!


Tuesday, Sept 10th

Rich and the Rhythm Roustabouts @ The Dancer’s Den

Berkeley City Club

2315 Durant Ave (between Ellsworth St & Dana St) Berkeley, CA 94704


Dance Entry Fee


Friday, Sept 13th

The Americano Social Club FAMILY RUCKUS!

Revolution Café

3248 22nd Street, San Francisco 94110




Friday, Sept 27th

Grove Valve Orchestra Benefit for Devoted to Children!

CLIF Bar Headquarters

1451 66th St. Emeryville CA 94608


get tickets!

See you at a Ruckus or dance venue soon!

Glory Hole

August 14th, 2013
The vagina is under a microscope.
It’s being prodded by shallow precepts.
The tools are clumsy and stickily sharp.
The stakes are life and death.
My vagina is not a glory hole
It’s not a place to pray.
You can come inside if you want to
But I must insist that you stay.
It’s not yours to testify against
It’s not yours to undermine
It can give you a brand new set of laws
If you can sacrifice some time.
This can mean war if you insist on war
swinging your pious pens about,  like swords
suturing laws with calculated ignorance
And baby, those are fighting words.  In our defense
So God got it backwards, did he?
In his flawed, omnipotent perfection.
While he gave men the desire to take lives,
He gave women the power to make them.

Icarus Ascending

July 22nd, 2013

(For Paul)


10 years after leaving you alone on Staten Island

you are still

Grounding me.


Allowing me the wings that I’ve spouted to

Carry me over your

Old, familiar landscape


Without ever an “I told you so”

“That’s enough altitude.”

“Make a U-turn at the dead end.”


Gracious as you are in your gift of flight, you are equally as

attentive to my detail.  


A reticent yet routine visitant to my stunted world view.


A benefactor without intrusion. You allow me to transcend atmospheres.

In my own time.


If there was a way to thank you for your

Benevolent buoyancy, I’d beg of you to surrender that.


I’d do my best to soar

Not too close

Not too far

Colon Dash Open Parenthesis

July 10th, 2013

There’s a smiley face on my iPhone screen again.  The ambiguous cheer that comes after a compliment and you don’t know whether it’s accompanied by a rosy blush or a distracted sendoff. 


I start to get those familiar, angsty, insecure questions: “Was that too forward of me? Doesn’t he want to say “likewise!”  or something equally as flirty? Where is he going that he can’t continue this all-encompassing and subtle sexual advance that I am trying to coyly convey from 5, 10, 15, 20 miles away.  


I feel like I’m floating in a vacuum and only get the thrill of real human connection when the universe spits another piece of flotsam into my orbit.  If ever so temporarily before it’s yanked off into another gravitational pull.  


Communication is key and we’re all working around it with combination locks.  I don’t have the stomach for numbers.  I don’t have a mind for vices. 


Though, believe me, I know it’s nice to bury myself in the chest of a man who I may not ever truly know just to shudder for a momentary release of not-so-alone.  


So I go out to coffee shops and meet-ups and troll the internets for some sort of ….something that peaks my interest.  Some line that haven’t read before.  ”I love to laugh.” “I love food.” “My favorite bands are…” “I’m currently reading…” 


But these aren’t people.  These are profiles. Silhouettes. Outlines.  Waiting to be colored in.  A veritable sudoku  in the who’s who of online dating.  But I

am already colorful.  How can I share that through a one dimensional, backlit piece of transparency?  How can I feel connected to something so stark?  


Where’s the spark?


When I finally do land a date, I’m SO obvious.  

I’ll ask any question, show genuine interest and want to KNOW someone.  Even if I don’t feel a flutter.  For the precious few minutes that I have in the person’s physical space, I become a sponge.  The language of their physical form communicating more to me in those short minutes than an entire laudatory composed under: “What I’m Doing With My Life.” 


What I need is something short of romance.  Short of love, I just crave

connection.  That wired feeling you get when you’re in animated, patter-paced discussion and learning the thought process, following the synapses and neural pathways of a brain outside of your own skull.  The basics. 

It’s the small things. 


What I usually find are people shivering to expose themselves.  They’re screaming to share how deeply driven they are to BE themselves.  To be wholly accepted as themselves.  Just like myself.   We are all screaming over each other so vehemently the sonic boom is too cacophonous to comprehend anything that actually resonates.  Nobody’s listening, because nobody can hear.


And listening happens with the body first.  No,  the choice to listen happens first.  Then the body follows.  Then the ears and then the mind.  


Nobody’s listening.  Everybody is interesting.  But nobody is interested. 


So we disappear back and continue the dance from behind the scrim of our computer screens. 

I now have a phone and a series of symbols that I can send without taking my eyes off of the road.  If I type them in just the right pattern, I can write a code for “I like you” or “I’m thinking of you” or “take a right at the light” or “I just monkey wrenched a liter of coke into a syringe AND lost my keys AGAIN.”    Crap!  I typed an open parentheses instead of a closed one! That’s totally not what I meant!


We have forgotten how to be vulnerable.  We have forgotten that discovering the truth about ourselves through the experience of ourselves by another can be as healing as it is painful and we are inventing new ways to hide from each other.  The more naked we make our bodies, the thicker the weave of our shroud becomes that cloak our deepest desire to be loved and buttressed with forgiveness and trust.  


Forgiveness.  That’s the hardest part.  The thing that comes after compassion.  Compassion, scaffolded with empathy and sympathy and patience.  Compassion that is no longer pedestaled or displayed by any figure in the public eye today.  In our rush to become more connected via the fevered sharing of information, we are forgetting to prioritize each other. 


With our first models of intimacy from infancy divorcing at a staggering rate, I’m inclined to eschew monogamy.  But no matter how inviting and logical this “open love” format sounds,  I can’t shake the intrinsic tug of “stay with me.”  “Trust that I will forgive you.”  “Trust that I know that you are human.”  “Trust me when I say “Abandonment is NOT an option.”


When did we stop TALKING to each other?  When did pixelated symbols of sentiment on LCD screens take the place of phrases like “Wow, I really like you.” Or “I miss you.”  Or “I…am hurt”


I’d like to erase the emoticon from the English lexicon and continue the communication evolution on to a higher plane of interconnection.  Take all of our hearts and place them side by side until they start beating in unison.


But with each generation I feel the gap widen. The distance between the vibrations of people in pain and people in love has grown so vast that we think we are the only ones who have ever really felt loss.  Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who has ever really felt love.  


If we spend any more time outside of each other’s orbits,  It’s only a matter of time before we stop feeling what one another is feeling.  Before empathy and sympathy evolve away from us and all we have are our own experiences.  And we forget how to trust. How to listen.  


And I mourn for its passing like a dog on his master’s grave just waiting for the rest of my life to pave me back in with her. 

Despite how wrong I may be about that. Despite its lack of echo in the vacuum in which I currently float.  I am not afraid to say it. 


With my mouth.


“I am hurt”


“I am lost”


“I miss you”


~Special thanks to Sara Levine for her expert editorial assistance.